Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Quick look back at start of 2000's

Well, a new decade. It's hard to think back to where we were a decade ago.

Y2K had just fizzled, the dotcom bubble hadn't yet exploded.

A PC (just about) ran Windows 98, had a processor measured in Mhz and maybe a 20 GB hard disk. Less than modern smartphones. Although we marveled at it's "multimedia" capabilities, it really amounted to being able to look at low-res pictures and clunkily play a bit of music. It was beige and had a CRT monitor that weighed so much you weren't allowed to try and move it at work, for fear of damaging your back. You regularly shared files limited to kb on floppy disks, though they were so unreliable that it was like russian roulette.

Mobile phones were black and white screened and limited to just phones, no camera, no music, no mobile internet. The iPod wasn't around. Taking your music with you literally meant taking your Cd's (worse still but slightly more mobile, cassette tapes) with you.

Websites were basic and limited to reading information (pre Web 2.0 read, write, revolution), they ran across dial-up internet connections and lots of tea was drunk whilst waiting to be wowed by... well not much at all.

Microsoft still remained a giant, Google and Yahoo were on a par and in relative infancy. We kind of had cloud computing, in the form of Hotmail, though it was so slow and cumbersome that even sharing a photo was slow, low-res and subject to upload or download dropouts.

It all seems very old-hat now, but back then it seemed amazing, a new frontier and enabled us to do things we hadn't been able to before. For myself I was travelling on the other side of the world and loving the fact that I could email home. Flickr, Facebook, Youtube and smartphones were yet to make it even easier for later generations.

What did the 2000's give us?

Here's the interesting part though, things like the following didn't exist, many weren't even dreamed of and others remained part of science fiction. Wikipedia, Google Maps, iTunes, Youtube, Skype, flat-screens TVs, iPods, mobile facebook updates, twitter, wifi, geo-tagging, user-generated content, flash drives, netbooks, blogs, mash-ups, video-calls, video on demand, IPTV.

What's next?

So what's coming that we haven't dreamed of yet and don't realise we are missing? It'll be far more than the 3DTV, Tablet devices and Cloud computing that are on our current horizon.

In the words of 3 wise men.
Niels Bohr "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."
Peter Drucker "The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different."
Carl Sandburg "Nothing happens unless first we dream."

Thursday, 14 January 2010

ACMA report on Australian Communications

ACMA released a report today which confirms what we already know... our mobile and online usage is growing at a staggering rate. Research that shows the extent to which we are online more, in more places, downloading more data.

Mobile services up 9.5% on a year earlier.
3G mobile services up 43%
Wireless broadband up to 25% of all internet subscribers
Data downloaded up a massive 80%
Average time online up 21%